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dharma(där`mə). In HinduismHinduism
, Western term for the religious beliefs and practices of the vast majority of the people of India. One of the oldest living religions in the world, Hinduism is unique among the world religions in that it had no single founder but grew over a period of 4,000 years in
..... Click the link for more information. , dharma is the doctrine of the religious and moral rights and duties of each individual; it generally refers to religious duty, but may also mean social order, right conduct, or simply virtue. Sacred law is the codification of dharma, and Hinduism itself is also called Sanatana Dharma [the eternal dharma]. In BuddhismBuddhism
, religion and philosophy founded in India c.525 B.C. by Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha. There are over 300 million Buddhists worldwide. One of the great world religions, it is divided into two main schools: the Theravada or Hinayana in Sri Lanka and SE Asia, and
..... Click the link for more information. , dharma has two distinct meanings: it refers to religious truth, namely Buddhist teaching as the highest truth; it is also used as a technical term to denote a constituent element of experience, or any existing thing or phenomenon.
Dharma(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
The Hindu understanding of the word "dharma" is difficult to translate. Roughly, it refers to the order of the world and the moral behavior of those in it. But that doesn't really capture its all-encompassing meaning. Hinduism is very comfortable with things that really can't be pinned down with a concise definition. After all, creation came before language, so it is only logical to think there are limitations in expression. Dharma includes all that there is, so it naturally follows that the basic concept of the word has fuzzy outer edges that can't quite be contained by scientific categories.
In Buddhism, however, the word is easier to grasp. The Buddha used the word to refer to the doctrine he taught, beginning with the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and the Middle Way (see Buddhism).
a Sanskrit word used in the ancient and medieval literature of India to express very varied concepts, including law, religion, obligation, justice, soul, and custom. Of all these concepts, the basic one is that which refers to the group of religious, moral, social, and family obligations placed on a human being by the laws and customs of his varna and caste. The observance of these precepts supposedly secures the successful transmigration of the soul or even the freeing of the soul from the influence of karma. In Buddhist literature the word dharma meant above all the teaching of Buddha.